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National Water Quality Laboratory

Friday December 15, 2017

USGS Open-File Report 99-093

Methods of Analysis by the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Laboratory — Determination of Dissolved Arsenic, Boron, Lithium, Selenium, Strontium, Thallium, and Vanadium Using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry

John R. Garbarino

1999

The inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometric (ICP-MS) methods have been expanded to include the determination of dissolved arsenic, boron, lithium, selenium, strontium, thallium, and vanadium in filtered, acidified natural water. Method detection limits for these elements are now 10 to 200 times lower than by former U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) methods, thus providing lower variability at ambient concentrations. The bias and variability of the method was determined by using results from spike recoveries, standard reference materials, and validation samples. Spike recoveries at 5 to 10 times the method detection limit and 75 micrograms per liter in reagent-water, surface-water, and groundwater matrices averaged 93 percent for seven replicates, although selected elemental recoveries in a ground-water matrix with an extremely high iron sulfate concentration were negatively biased by 30 percent. Results for standard reference materials were within 1 standard deviation of the most probable value. Statistical analysis of the results from about 60 filtered, acidified natural-water samples indicated that there was no significant difference between ICP-MS and former USGS official methods of analysis.

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